Thunder nails

I plopped down in a chair at a nail spa for a pedicure. I get my toes done by a professional prior to weddings and other special events. 

In between those occasions, I paint my own toenails with whatever shade of pink or red or blue I have tucked away in my bathroom cabinet. 

Anyone who happens to catch a glimpse of my did-it-myself feet probably winces, then whispers, “She must have let a toddler paint her nails.”

Thanks for whispering.

Suffice it to say that when I do schedule a nail appointment, I look forward to going. I enjoy relaxing back in a cozy recliner while a nail tech does his or her best to improve the pitiful appendages also known as my toes.

Nail techs are better than me at everything—well, everything nail-related. They soften my cuticles rather than strip them. They trim my nails without mutilating them.. 

They apply lotion when massaging my calves and feet. Then, they do it all over again, this time with lavender or honey or peach scrub. 

Sometimes, not often, I anti up for hot wax treatment. When I don’t, warm towels are nice, too. 

Best of all, the techs paint my nails whatever color I choose, and they use precise strokes. They, unlike me, never—as in ever—leave streaks of polish outside my nail beds or on the bottoms of my toes or on the rim of my bathtub where I sometimes prop my feet to do the job.

Did I say I look forward to pedicure appointments?

On this particular day, I pressed every button on the remote to get the best of the best in chair massages. I relaxed back in the folds of faux leather, appreciating my window view.

The minute I placed my feet to soak in the swirling warm water, the minute the chair massage got rolling—literally—dark clouds worked their way over the horizon, covering once blue skies. 

Long, vertical streaks of lightning lit the sky. Thunder joined in on the fun, followed by wind and rain.

I said to myself, “Self, I’m thinking Momma told us not to put our feet (or any other body part) in water during a thunderstorm.”

The woman beside me voiced that same concern, and all six women down the line of chairs lifted their feet up and out of the water. Our timing was as flawless as a row of synchronized swimmers.

Meanwhile, the nail techs persevered. When they weren’t dodging and ducking bolts of lightning, they trimmed, massaged, scrubbed and rinsed feet held high in the air.  

A ginormous flash of lightning and deafening crash of thunder sent everybody—nail techs and customers—toward the ceiling as we sucked in what we each thought was our last breath. 

That heavenly little episode left us in the dark—no electricity. 

It is a curious situation—one I had never encountered—to sit barefoot in a chair at a nail spa in the dark during a thunderstorm. 

Watching the techs flinch and dip their heads with each roar of thunder and slice of lightning might have been comical had I not been sitting by a large window wondering if I should move. 

Without electric, the massage chair had become just a boring, regular chair. I’m not sure why I didn’t relocate.

It matters not. I did not move, and I am happy to have lived to tell about it.

As for the nail techs, they weaved and bobbed like Muhammed Ali, but they persisted—with the help of the cell phone flashlights each customer held over her own feet.

Storms are a crazy and powerful means by which nature reminds us that we have little to no control in this world. I’ve got a set of thunder nails to prove it.

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